SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
BP Discussing a Backup Strategy to Plug Well
from the New York Times (Registration Required)
Since shortly after oil began spewing into the Gulf of Mexico two months ago, relief wells have been discussed as the ultimate solution, their success in permanently plugging the runaway well deemed a foregone conclusion.
But BP and government officials are now talking about a long-term containment plan to pump the oil to an existing platform should the relief well effort fail. While such a failure is considered highly unlikely, the contingency plan is the latest sign that with this most vexing of engineering challenges--snuffing a gusher 5,000 feet down in the gulf--nothing is a sure thing.
Kent Wells, a BP senior vice president in charge of subsea containment and capping efforts, said Monday that the first relief well was "progressing very well" and on target to intercept the runaway well more than three miles below the surface of the gulf.
Connect With Us:
PODCASTS: Expanding With the Cosmos
Using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ATC), a 6.5-meter microwave collector in Chile, cosmologists are piecing together the early history of the known universe. In an exclusive American Scientist interview, Arthur Kosowsky—a member of the ATC team and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh—discusses how he is using ATC to reach back in time billions of years to search for gravitational waves that could verify inflation and reveal unprecedented details about how the cosmos was born.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.